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Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Glacial scouring, Isle of Harris


The landscape on the flanks of the hills on the Isle of Harris is truly spectacular -- and I have seldom seen such a deeply scoured landscape.   All of the bedrock hills and knolls have been smoothed and cleaned -- and shaped into whaleback / streamlind forms fine enough to grace the pages of any geomorphology text-book.  The bulk of the scouring may well have been done in earlier glaciations, but in the Devensian there was thick ice from the Scottish mainland streaming across this area.  When that ice melted, it seems that there was a small ice cap centred on the Harris uplands -- which might have survived until 16,000 years BP.

The upper photo was taken during the ferry approach to the little port of Tarbert.  The lower photo was taken near Hushinish, with the tip of the island of Scarp in the middle distance.

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